Not All Good News

Time for our no-longer-weekly garden update!

This isn’t the happiest one ever, though, for a couple reasons:

Reason #1:  My Nikon is in the shop, hopefully having a shard of SD card (don’t even ask how it happened; I have no idea) removed from its card slot.  Keep yer fingers crossed for me, OK?


Reason #2: You’ll see.

But let’s start off on a happy note, ok?

Remember my sad, wimpy little romaine lettuces?  And how I repotted them without any real hope that they’d thrive?

2 words:  Hells.  Yeah.  (Err…except the lil’ guy at the back there, but I’ve started rotating the pots every couple days so he should catch up soon.)

These things are now larger than my other pot of lettuces, despite having waited in limbo for a few weeks.  Why the sudden growth?  Well they have more space and sun in their new pots, for one.  And also, these pots contain a roughly 2/3 to 1/3 mix of superfancy potting soil (from the University Gardens center) and plain ol’ topsoil.  I’m not an expert, so please don’t try this at home (or at least, not on my recommendation).  But I am happy with how it worked for me 🙂

I mean, don’t you just want to NOM?!  Soon, little friends, soon.  I will eat you.  And then I will be happy and you will be dead.  Circle of life.

My hyacinth vines are coming up really speedily, thanks in part to the crazy torrential rain we’ve had this week.  I think that helped them come out of their dormant dry beanshell phase faster.

And look!  Pepper plant!

This is just a representative sample; though the other 6 little darlin’s are doing equally as well  I am proud of them and all their hard work – growing big and strong!  Now if I could just figure out what’s nibbling on their leaves…

So here’s where things get a little less-than-perfect.  My basil:

Pretty OK, right?  It’s not as yellow as the picture above makes it seem, though I would hazard to guess that it could benefit from a few days of no rain.

But here’s what I’m a little worried about.  A couple of the leaves (all bottommost) look like this:

What’s making them get so yellow?  Too much rainfall?  Not enough sunlight?  And what’s up with that ugly black/brown spot?  Could I just pull these leaves off and throw them away?  SHOULD I?  Remember, I’m the know-nothing here, and you’re the expert.  Even if you don’t know anything either, it’s probably less nothing than my nothing.

Here’s where I get really sad.

My poor tomato!  I’m heartbroken over this – what did I do wrong?  And how do I fix it?

The bottom branches are dying.


And the higher-up branches look like this:

See how they’re all curly-uppy, and dark?

Even the topmost branches are starting to get that way:

Can it be saved?

Oh and some of the tiny little blossoms are dying, too!

Please?  Help me help it?

I’m worried I have to throw it away, and I don’t want to.  I’ll be so disappointed 😦

If nothing else, let’s blame Mr. Gnomie.

The lazy bastard’s still asleep.

Seriously – can anybody help me and my poor little plants?

9 responses to “Not All Good News

  1. It looks like two things are happening-
    1. too much water. I know, we’ve had crazy rain, it’s not your fault
    2. It looks kind of like a your tomato pot isn’t draining off enough water. That’s what happened to some of my seedlings . I’m not really sure what you can do to help them. I would suggest taking these pictures to the local greenhouse/plant place and asking them for suggestions.

    I took pictures of my garden before all the rain this week, so I’ll be putting those up this weekend. I don’t work Monday or Tuesday of this coming week. You want to get an after work coffee or something?

  2. Whenever my basil leaves get like that, I always pull them off and throw them away. I’m not sure what causes it though – I don’t have much of a green thumb.

  3. Yep, what they said. Pull off any stems that look bad, especially from the bottom of the tomatoes up. At this point I have pulled off the first 4 or 5 stems from the bottom of each tomato and by August their first set of branches left on will be 2 feet up the stem. Make sure your pots really are draining the way they are supposed to, and don’t water any of them again until the top inch or more is bone dry. If it rains, let it rain, but if you have a watering can in your hands, make sure they really need it. By now the roots are reaching the bottom of most of those pots.

  4. It’s the gnome. Throw him off the balcony and all will be well.

  5. I echo the comments above but you should also be aware that tomato blossoms will not set fruit until the temperature is consistently in the 70s. This has been a cool, wet, spring and farmers with fields full of plants are having the same problems you are. This means that even farmers markets will be slow to reach full volume.

  6. I am really bad at diagnosing plants, but I am really good at taking cuttings of sick plants to my local nursery and doing whatever they tell me to do. Kind of like taking a knitting disaster to the LYS.

  7. I’d remove the old dead stuff for sure. I know tomatoes need a lot of sun. Are they somewhere that gets like 8 hours of sun?

  8. Never admit defeat. Just go to the store and right before Jeff gets home, put a nice ripe tomato in the planter so it looks like it just fell off the vine. same with the pepper and the basil. I wouldn’t even take the basil out of the container…….

  9. IF you don’t get a rain reprieve soonish I would be tempted to bring in a few things & give them a chance to dry out (tomato for sure) and maybe some quality time with a grow light to supplement their diet of shade.

    clean up the bottom leaves on the tomato for sure & don’t let anything get rotty in the pot.

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